FEBRUARY 9, 1938
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—I had a rather busy time yesterday afternoon. At 3:00 I met three ladies, one of them here on a visit from New Zealand. It was interesting to hear her say how far away she felt before starting her journey, which took 15 days to San Francisco. I could not refrain from suggesting that someday we would do it in far less time by air.
I am not quite sure she liked the idea, for she remarked that she was not a very good sailor. I think it is far worse to be air-sick than to be sea-sick, for at least at sea you have a little privacy. In the air, there is no such thing.
Next, I attended Captain Dalrymple's funeral. He was Captain of the White House Guards and I had always thought his expression really very beautiful, kindly and yet strong. In the simple funeral services, the young minister, in describing his character, spoke of his qualities which, I feel, had written themselves on his face.
Someone said the other day, that nature and heredity give beauty in youth, but in age the individual has written his own story of beauty or the beast.
From 4:30 on, there were three teas to vary our usual two teas, and two additional appointments, all of which brought me very near to dinner time. At 8:30 the Red Room was pretty well filled by some 45 young people shepherded by Mr. Frederick Davenport.
They came to hold their usual Monday evening meeting with me. This group, with the help of a foundation and an able board of trustees, is getting practical experience working in government departments and institutions, or in some Senator's or Congressman's office.
They wondered whether people are going to be any more interested in government in the next few years than they have been in the past. I feel very sure that just such groups as these young people, are going to make a tremendous difference in the general interest taken in government by communities all over this country.
People are going to find, that whether a man is a local, state or federal official, he represents fairly well the type of community from which he comes. If that community is wide awake and interested, when he goes home he is apt to be asked by groups and by individuals the reasons why certain things have been done. He is going to find he has to be very much more wide awake to obtain information and to be able to answer the questions put to him, and thus he will become a better public servant.
These young people, whether they remain in public service or not, are going to make a great difference in the type of citizenship in their localities.
The National Youth Advisory Committee began its two-day session this morning and I had the pleasure of greeting them. I had a delightful luncheon with Mrs. Wallace, wife of the Secretary of Agriculture, and now must settle down before a desk which shows no signs of the work which I did last night, though I worked until fairly late, or rather, fairly early this morning.